Any Tips for Towing in the Snow - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-21-2019, 10:49 AM   #41
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Name: John
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post

Couldn't see a thing in the driving snow. I'd have pulled off the road, if I knew where the edge of the pavement was. I couldn't see the ditch, couldn't see where my lane was, got occasional glimpses of the centre line.

Ya, I was driving slow.
That reminds me of going over the Sierra, a couple winters ago. It turned into a white out up on two lane hwy 88. Unsafe to stop and unsafe to go. I rolled down the passenger window and watched the guard rail, only a couple of feet away to make sure I was still in the lane.

Big rigs travel that road, regardless of conditions, year round. They can be impossible to pass and so often they will wait on chaining up and then get stuck, blocking everyone.

It can be very entertaining when the snow arrives and a dozen or more cars are off the road. I always take my time up there. And I always have my tow strap and at least a minimum of supplies, while travelling out of necessity. But with all the chaos, I don't choose to risk my trailer, or endure the stress of going on a supposedly relaxing trip, while it's like that up there.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:24 PM   #42
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I just had to drive from Reno to the coast yesterday... in a beat up old Mercedes(*) with 4 nearly bald tires, eeeeek! it was raining lightly in Reno when I left, very light snow flurries on the Sierra approach but I80 was just wet, never icy. about 10 miles around Truckee, my dash said it was 30F outside, but the road was still wet, not icy.

I drove *very* carefully keeping it around 50-55 until I got over Donner Summit (7200 feet) and partway down the west side, the road dried out, then I wicked it back up to mid 70s cruise speed when the traffic allowed.

car gets new tires tuesday (I had to special order the old school 195/65R15 size, no one had them in Reno and I only found out it was bald the day before I had to leave).

I would be *really* leary of trailer brakes on actual snow and ice surfaces. most trailer brake controllers have a 'gain' control. I would note where i have this set on dry pavement, maybe even put a little tape marker on it, then dial it way back so the trailer isn't skidding when you're on light to medium braking

I wonder how trailers would do with those plastic strap style traction devices in a pinch ? easier to install than actual chains or the cable kind. I had to use those steel cable things on several of my FWD cars in the 80s/90s when we were skiers where the owners manual said specifically you could not use chains, only low profile traction devices... and nearly every time I mounted them, one or another cable would end up breaking, no matter how carefully I drove on them.




* - A 1990 Mercedes 300E 2.6, low mileage, but dented on all sides... it's our spare car, we'd 'given' it to our kid while he was at UofN getting his PhD. he's moving to the UK as we speak, so he gave it back. this pic was 5 years ago...

I'll probably be driving it this winter and keep my convertible in the carport.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:09 PM   #43
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If you have trailer brakes (smart folks do) you can use them to keep your trailer in line behind your tow vehicle.....I hate it when the trailer tries to pass my tow vehicle.
Be prepared for surprises if you must tow in a snow storm....best to stay off the roads until until the plows clear things up.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:57 PM   #44
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Snow is a four letter word😎

I’m from Arizona. My best advice to me for towing in the snow is “don’t”. 😎
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:25 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
"All-season" tires are not ALL season. For snow you need snow tires ( with M+S ) symbols or All-weather tires.





All M+S tires are not created equal. Look for the snowflake mountain symbol, some have it some don't.


M+S Tire Marking on All-season Tires


M+S symbol usually found on the side of the tire near the wheel flange

The M+S tire marking system was first introduced to differentiate knobby bias-ply tires from the more common rib treads on early radial car and light truck tires. Over time, M+S became a standard marking to show the tire had some “all-season” capability compared to summer tires. Unfortunately, it is a very one-dimensional test in that it only measures traction in packed snow and mud. It does not measure traction on ice, slush or traction on cold dry roads. For that reason the M+S Symbol falls short in helping fully evaluate winter tire performance expectations in winter driving conditions.
Mountain/Snowflake Symbol – Severe Snow and Winter Traction


Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol is on many Winter Tires.

Recognizing a need for a more up-to-date and helpful measurement of true winter performance, as well as a way to differentiate all-season tires from winter tires, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) came up with the Mountain/Snowflake symbol for tires. When you see this icon on the sidewall of your tire, you can be assured it meets more stringent winter traction performance requirements and has been rated for “severe snow service”. This includes snowy, slippery roads and low temperature or freezing roads. Most all-season tires do not qualify for the Mountain/Snowflake symbol because the tread rubber in all-season and summer tires become hard at temperatures below 40 F. Only dedicated winter tires, select all-terrain light truck and SUV tires, and some of the latest generation “all-weather tires” meet the traction qualifications for the Mountain/Snowflake symbol’s severe snow service rating. One “all-weather” tire with the Mountain/Snowflake symbol is the Nokian WR G3 tire. The Nokian WR G3 are tires that you can leave on the vehicle all-year round, and still be assured of good traction in winter conditions other than just light snow. Nokian also makes a full line of winter tires for all vehicles and their new Hakkapeliitta 9 studded tire is a great choice for severe weather conditions.
Do I Need Tires with the Mountain/Snowflake Symbol?

At this time, there are only a few areas in North America were winter tires are mandatory. In some Canadian provinces, only tires bearing the Mountain/Snowflake symbol are considered acceptable winter/snow tires, and by law must be used from October through March. Winter tire usage laws are under consideration for some northern U.S. states as well, but for the time-being, good all-season tires that carry the M+S symbol continue to be the broader definition for the minimum acceptable levels of winter traction. M+S rated tires or snow chains are usually permitted in mountain passes and other areas under winter weather advisory conditions.
Regardless of the local laws and regulations, winter tires are proven to increase safety and reduce accidents if you regularly drive in snow, slush, ice, or cold conditions, or live in an area that regularly experiences winter temperatures below 45 degrees. Visit Tires-easy.com to find all your winter/snow tire needs or check out another helpful post, Buying Tires Online – What to Know.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:28 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I know you don't think so, but I do have an idea what I am talking about, along with a horde of experience. Sorry you feel it was bad info I gave to the OP, but it does work well for me, year after year
I would hope that you could realize this is not about you.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:40 PM   #47
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We have lived in Maine, Montana, Idaho & Washington & actually prefer to camp in “off season” situations. Don’t like the crowds. We travel over snowy, mountain roads and sometimes use traction devices (cables and/or studded tires). When the roads are snowy or slushy and I can drive along slowly it’s not a problem. However, sometimes there is ice and that is terrifying. You can not control the vehicle in some situations (steep descents, poor visibility, stupid drivers doing dumb things, etc.). There is also the phenomenon of “black ice” and sometimes sudden “patchy” ice or iced overpasses. We have witnessed other vehicles & trailers jackknifing or slipping off the road.
Personally, I don’t mind driving on snow. But I would counsel anyone else to stay off the snow with their TT’s. Too many unpredictabilities, too much risk.
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:53 PM   #48
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Trailer brakes in snow. I'd offer this warning... if the individual brakes aren't adjusted so that they stop with equal force then in snow or ice one wheel will grab or lock up and that never ends well.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:07 PM   #49
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I have lived here in Lake Tahoe for 30 years and over 45 years driving in the mountains with snow, own 4 different trailers, some with brakes and some without so I do speak from experience. The biggest challenges I have faced are steep hills and trailer weight.

Momentum is your friend but you can't always keep the correct momentum because of traffic which is when you have problems. When going downhill with a heavy trailer and you are forced to go slower than your momentum dictates due to the traffic in front of you, the trailer will want to pass tow vehicle. The best solution is trailer brakes (and chains on the trailer even better). Just adust them very lightly because all you need them to do is keep the trailer straight behind you.

When going uphill slower than you want with a heavy trailer the tow vehicle can lose traction and you will get stuck. The best solution is tire chains.

You will not have problems going up or down IF you have the correct momentum but because of traffic conditions, you can't always control this. Bottom line is even with all the experience in the world you can get into problems if you don't have the correct equipment (good tires, tire chains, trailer brakes, etc.) and I personally would Not tow a trailer over steep mountain passes in heavy snow unless I had to.
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:02 AM   #50
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I want to avoid towing my lovely trailer in the snow. But last night, circumstances conspired to have me doing exactly that.

We were camping in Moab. Monday night brought rain, then snow and wind. Snowy weather was predicted to set in for a number of days. Tuesday seemed like the only possible day to get back to Smith Valley, in northern Nevada, or stay for another week and be snowed in.

So, Tuesday morning we headed out and went up Hwy 15 to Salt Lake and Hwy 80 west, where I thought we'd have the best chance to find cleared highways. At Wendover it started snowing off and on, and by the time we reached Winnemucca, nearly 600 miles from Moab, it was below freezing, constant snow, a white frozen hwy and chains required. As the evening progressed, I was constantly evaluating the traction, the color of the pavement, the wind speed and direction, and deciding if there was any better alternative than being where we were. There was about 200 miles of questionable traction and snow.

I had no chains, and in fact, the HQ19 is not suitable for chains anyway. I was going along at 30 MPH, a good deal of the time, with cautious others, while trucks were blazing by much faster. I turned the brake controller down from "6" to "2.5" and held way back from anyone slowing down.

It sucked. And it was a very long day at nearly 600 miles, a lot of which was on slow and slippery roads. I selected a parking lot in Winnemucca, between a Flying J truck stop and a McDonalds, to hunker down for the remainder of the night. About 20 others were there doing the same thing. The best part of the day was getting tucked in at about midnight, getting warmed up, not being on the road, and listening to the wind howl as the trailer gently rocked in the darkness. It's funny how nice it can sometimes be, parked at a truck stop.

In Nevada, if you are towing in a chain required area, you must chain the tow and the trailer. I had none with me. This morning, the chain controls were lifted westward at about 10AM and off we went. Hwy 80 was closed at the CA/NV state line to trucks, but we weren't going that far. Another 250 miles, with occasional flurries, and we got home.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:07 AM   #51
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Towing in to known snow conditions?



1. Carefully place your tow vehicle in park.


2. Shut off the engine.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:05 AM   #52
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Name: Alan
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Tires, tires, tires. In winter driving, having winter tires that actually perform is the 2nd best way to stay out of trouble. Sites like Tire Rack that actually test the tires on real cars offer critical information. That kind of input is how I found my Nokian WR4s.


The best way to stay out of trouble, assuming you take your trip? Slow down.



Modern ABS brakes and traction control can lead us into a false confidence to the point we exceed the tire's traction capability; but at that point we are going way faster than we should have been and the consequences are far, far worse. Isn't speed a squared function?


The third best way to stay out of trouble? Stay far away from other drivers. There is plentiful online dash cam footage of groups of vehicles speeding through winter conditions with everybody on the hairy edge of control, and it's OK until suddenly it's not OK. Five seconds later a dozen people are dead and every vehicle is entangled. Oregon has had winter weather-related multi-car pileups (20+!) that closed nearly every major highway in the state at the same time. Winter sports.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:10 AM   #53
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Towing in to known snow conditions?



1. Carefully place your tow vehicle in park.


2. Shut off the engine.
LOL, though a solution that would work best for many, it would sure make it tough for me to get to a work site and bring all my tools.

We are getting a fair bit of fresh snow daily the last few days. It is cold enough that the road conditions, though some snow and ice, are really not too bad.

I do have to pull my dump trailer full of heavy waste (usually 7,000-9,000 lbs) to the dump tomorrow, but not too worried having done this so many times before.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:48 AM   #54
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So just an update. We kept following weather reports and decided not to take the casita. Then the morning of our trip we woke up and decided to cancel the trip altogether. Then we proceeded to get 18” of snow and the entire neighborhood spent Wednesday and Thanksgiving in a continuous communal dig out.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:09 AM   #55
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Spent Wed clearing 10 to 12” of fresh snow from the drive way , roof and decks
I enjoy winter and snow is part of the adventure .
If we stayed home when there is snow on the ground we wouldn’t leave home till next June
Peoples unfounded / unwarranted fear of snow or any temperature below 32 deg F has always baffled me . You would think snow was the sign for the Second Coming of Christ .
If you follow the Casita forum you can see evidence of this thinking process .
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:17 AM   #56
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Spent Wed clearing 10 to 12” of fresh snow from the drive way , roof and decks

I enjoy winter and snow is part of the adventure .

If we stayed home when there is snow on the ground we wouldn’t leave home till next June

Peoples unfounded / unwarranted fear of snow or any temperature below 32 deg F has always baffled me . You would think snow was the sign for the Second Coming of Christ .

If you follow the Casita forum you can see evidence of this thinking process .


We often travel in snow and go snowshoeing any chance we get. My main concern was with the towing and camping.

And it isn’t fear of snow I have, it is primarily fear of the drivers that can’t take their eyes off their phones even while attempting to drive in snow. Almost got side swiped by one on Wednesday.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:18 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post

Peoples unfounded / unwarranted fear of snow or any temperature below 32 deg F has always baffled me .
I have had the same feelings, but for the most part think it comes from folks not used to dealing with snow and winter. If I was to have the same fears it would make for a miserable half the year. While winter does have its challenges, for the most part I love many things about it.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:42 AM   #58
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We often travel in snow and go snowshoeing any chance we get. My main concern was with the towing and camping.

And it isn’t fear of snow I have, it is primarily fear of the drivers that can’t take their eyes off their phones even while attempting to drive in snow. Almost got side swiped by one on Wednesday.
The problem is IDIOTS & CELL PHONES not the snow .
They are a problem on dry warm pavement
I don’t understand the desire / need to be constantly socially connected
I am just not that interesting to deserve the constant attention of others !
Heading out into the woods and snow to go hunting
Temps in the mid 20’s , a little warm but not enough to keep me at home .
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:41 AM   #59
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It snowed most of the night last night. What a beautiful morning!

So, we're off to Tahoe in the Jeep to have a look. It sholuld be snowing all day up there and there will be lots of things to see.

The trailer and the truck are tucked in under the carport and dry. It's a great time to visit friends, go exploring and out to breakfast. The wood stove will be keeping us company all evening.
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:34 PM   #60
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Loving my second set of Nokian tires - WR G3 this time. I used to be a diehard Michelin fan, but for the same price I like these better. Improvements over the first set of Nokians included a better tread and mileage with the rubber not being as soft. I do need to add weight to the back of my 2006 Toyota Tacoma 4WD Access Cab for good function in the snow. I made a pair of sand bags from tire inner tubes that hug the wheel wells and stay in place. I still have real chains but haven't needed to use them since using these tires. The Nokians are bit more expensive than your average M+S Snowflake tire, but worth the investment. They are fairly popular here in Canada on the Wet Coast with a good sipe for rain. Only available through Kal Tire.
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